You never forget your first time. For me, it was five years ago. I’d just moved to Los Angeles and wanted to meet new people. I stood in line outside for almost an hour. When the doors finally opened and I settled into my spot, the lights dimmed and “Love Will Keep Us Together” by The Captain & Tennille started playing on the stereo. When the lights came back up, I knew it was show time. I was about to experience Ronna & Beverly live and, after that, I knew nothing would ever be the same again.
If the names Ronna & Beverly, don’t feel bad. That’s why I’m here: To help introduce you to some of the funniest female writing/performing teams this side of the 45th parallel. Some you might recognize from their work on the small screen and others you might know from being scene-stealers on the big screen. Either way, once you discover the comedic genius of these six dynamic duos, everything’s gonna change.
Don’t worry. This won’t hurt a bit.
Ronna & Beverly
For Fans Of: Larry David, “The Heat,” chocolate babka
What Makes Them Hysterical: On surface level, Ronna & Beverly are just a pair of middle-aged yentas from Marblehead, Massachusetts—or, “Mahblehead,” as they like to pronounce it in their gooey Bahston accents—who travel the country promoting their (fake) book, You’ll Do A Little Better Next Time: A Guide to Marriage and Re-Marriage for Jewish Singles. However, strip away the animal-print tunics and crocheted Uggs, and you’ll find thirtysomething comediennes Jamie Denbo and Jessica Chaffin, who’ve been stealing scenes on the big and small-screen for years. Though the duo is amazing together—like when they appeared in “The Heat” as part of Melissa McCarthy’s extended Masshole family, which landed them their own character-based spinoff—they also make us laugh when they’re apart. (See cameos in shows like “Happy Endings” and “New Girl.”) England has already celebrated Ronna & Beverly’s brilliance by giving them their own chat show, which aired on Sky Atlantic in 2012. While I continue a fierce letter-writing campaign to get the show aired in the States, take comfort in knowing you can always listen to their podcast and see them perform regularly at Upright Citizen’s Brigade in Los Angeles.
Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer (aka “Broad City”)
For Fans Of: ”Workaholics,” “Half-Baked,” NYLON Magazine
What Makes Them Hysterical: While some have only known “Broad City,” the TV show, since it premiered on Comedy Central this past January, others have been watching the illegally hilarious web series since it started in 2009. Regardless of how you discovered the duo, the women of “Broad City” are almost like a modern-day, female odd couple: Abbi would be the Type-A go-getter who can’t seem to get it together, while Ilana would be the lovable loser who has a Silly Putty face and smokes waaaaaay too much weed. Together, they explore the everyday trials and tribulations of being young, funny and high in New York City. If you don’t trust me, trust Amy Poehler, who happens to be a huge fan; so much so that she’s an executive producer on the show. Blam-o!
Casey Wilson & June Diane Raphael
For Fans Of: Sarah Silverman, “Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion,” MAC lipglass
What Makes Them Hysterical: Casey and June first met while attending college at NYU and went on to perform together in a two-woman show at Upright Citizen’s Brigade called “Rode Hard And Put Away Wet.” (The name now belongs to the duo’s production company, which produced 2012’s “Ass Backwards.”) While each has her own acting career — Casey appeared on “Saturday Night Live” and “Happy Endings” (RIP), while June has been featured in “Party Down” and “Burning Love” — the two always seem to back their way back to each other. Next up? A single-camera comedy for NBC called “The Mason Twins.” Until then, you can listen June co-host the podcast, “How Did This Get Made?”, alongside fellow comedians Jason Manzoukas and Paul Scheer, who also happens to be June’s hilarious hubby.
Riki Lindhome & Kate Micucci (aka Garfunkel & Oates)
For Fans Of: “Flight of the Conchords,” “Glee,” ukuleles
What Makes Them Hysterical: Garfunkel & Oates have somehow managed to break through the musical-comedy glass ceiling with their unique blend of pop melodies and potty humor, which is no easy feat — especially when you sing songs like “Handjob, Blandjob, I Don’t Understand Job” looking more like Alexa Chung than Jack Black. Much like Casey Wilson and June Diane Raphael, both Garfunkel (Riki Lindhome) and Oates (Kate Micucci) have equally successful acting careers. You might recognize Kate as Gooch’s girlfriend on “Scrubs” and Riki as Kimmy’s hostile frenemy on “Super Fun Night.” Thankfully, they’ve taken a break from other projects to concentrate on filming a long-awaited Garfunkel & Oates TV show for IFC. Though a premiere date has yet to be set, if the show is half as funny as the pair’s YouTube videos, no “Present Face” will be necessary.
Jillian Bell & Charlotte Newhouse
For Fans Of: Amy Sedaris, “Eastbound & Down,” flaming hot Cheetos
What Makes Them Hysterical: Jillian Bell knew from an early age she was destined for the improv stage. In fact, she was eight when she started studying the comedy craft. However, it was only after graduating high school, did she decide to hoof it West and start performing with Groundlings, which led to an audition with “Saturday Night Live.” Jillian didn’t get the on-camera gig but she did join the cast as a writer for two seasons. Though she’s acted along the way — she has a recurring role on “Workaholics” and appeared on the last season of “Eastbound & Down” — Jillian reveals her true comedic genius in the web series “Idiotsitter,” which she co-wrote with fellow comedienne and Groundlings performer, Charlotte Newhouse. The series is about a nanny who gets roped into looking after an obnoxious adult delinquent and first rolled out on ComedyCentral.com in February. While we await word on a second season, might I suggest the following: Watch. Laugh. Repeat.
Lizzie & Wendy Molyneux
For Fans Of: Megan Mullally, “The Simpsons,” hamburgers
What Makes Them Hysterical: These hilarious sisters might not have a ton of credits on their IMDB pages, but that doesn’t discount their comedic prowess. Though the two have known each other since, well, lil’ sis Lizzie was born, the pair didn’t start writing together until the younger sibling was in college. From there, the pair wrote “The Day I Turned Uncool” for Paramount and “My Sister Is Marrying A Douchebag,” which was chosen as a coveted Black List script in 2009. Though neither script made it into production, soon thereafter, the Molyneux sisters did pick up their first full-time writing gig on “Bob’s Burgers,” where they’ve been parked for the past five years. Currently, the sisters have an overall deal with 20th Century Fox and I wouldn’t be surprised if a Molyneux-penned pilot was on the network’s schedule in the coming year. Fingers crossed!